3.10.2009

oh dear

Oh dear. I don't know how it happened, but it did. I made cookies that taste like nothing.

I've made my share of bad cookies: cookies with too much sugar or too little salt, burnt cookies, blobby cookies, cookies too crisp, cookies too chewy, cookies that melt themselves onto the pan and release only with a good soak and a scrape. But cookies that taste like nothing? This, dear readers, is a first.

I don't understand. There's good stuff in these cookies. Two whole sticks of butter. Toasted hazelnuts, even, rubbed clean of their silky skins. Yet these fine ingredients somehow up and sailed away during the baking process, it seems, and left mere cookie-shaped shells of themselves behind. What the heck?! Some recipes turn out greater than the sum of their parts. I guess others just turn out significantly less.

Eli took one dutiful bite, and promptly offered his own take on the problem. Riffing on the Law of Conservation of Matter, he postulated that a Law of Conservation of Flavor must also exist, whereby all flavor in the universe functions within a closed system, and remains constant. If, he reasoned, some recipes are greater than the sum of their parts, that "greater" has to come from somewhere. From my flavorless cookies, for example. According to Eli's theory, there's a dish somewhere out there boasting a toasty smack of ground hazelnuts, and a sweep of butter and vanilla across the tongue. It is a dish that, oddly enough, contains none of these ingredients, but handily snatched up the flavors from my little corner of the closed flavor system. My sorry cookies just happened to be on the losing end of the equation this time around.

Can you see why I love this guy? When cookies disappoint, it sure is nice having a sweet physics buff around to soften the blow.

The most infuriating part is that the cookies looked like this:

plate of raspberry sandwich cookies

And this:

stack of raspberry sandwich cookies

They're all flash and dazzle with their dusting of powdered sugar and raspberry jam between the cheeks. Lovely to behold. Just not so lovely to eat. If, despite my terrible review, you're interested in how these cookies tasted, just grab three spoons. Fill one with raspberry jam, another with powdered sugar, and the third with - you guessed it - nothing. Take a bite from each spoon, and there you'll have it.

So no recipe today, folks, I'm sorry to say. As soon as I get these cookies tasting as good as they look, I promise I'll let you know.

7 comments:

Gershon said...

Don't be ridiculous! These cookies were delicious.

Jess said...

Oh, Gershon, you are too kind. Thank you. But are you sure it wasn't just a pleasant lick of jam you tasted? I'll let you know when the new and improved cookies are ready for tasting.

megan said...

Hi-larious...and after you've looked forward to making them for so long! Definitely a conservation of flavor problem -

Shayne said...

Send the nothing cookies to me, I will dutifully eat them all and then they'll be something - delicious and in my tummy!

Jess said...

Megan - I'll let Eli know that you second his theory.

Shayne - Thanks for volunteering to eat the disappointing little guys. But I'd rather send you something a bit tastier...

Jada Ach said...

These cookies look so hopeful! How sad that they are part vapor...

Jess said...

Jada - I know. But I have another recipe on deck, and I'm hoping that it will redeem these cookies!